HC Deb 12 February 1947 vol 433 cc483-5

Order for Second Reading read.

9.42 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Oliver)

I beg to move, "That this Bill be now read a Second time."

This is a very small Measure consisting of two Clauses, one of which is confined to the Short Title. It arises from a scheme of constitutional development recently carried out for bringing the Governor of the Isle of Man into closer touch with the Boards of Tynwald, which administer various local government services in the Island, and to enable him to appoint the chairmen of the Boards as members of a non-statutory Executive Council to advise him generally in the government of the island.

To do this, it was necessary to modify the constitutions of the Boards, so that the chairmen should be appointed by Tynwald after consultation with the Governor, instead of as, heretofore, being chosen, in most cases, by the Boards themselves. This has been done by Act of Tynwald for all Boards—or Harbour Commissioners as they are more properly called—except the Harbour Board, whose constitution is fixed by the Isle of Man Harbours Act, 1872. That was an Act of the Unite I Kingdom Parliament and cannot, therefore, be altered except by legislation of the two Houses of Parliament.

The present Bill, which has been agreed with the Isle of Man authorities, will leave Tynwald free to legislate and to bring the constitution of the Harbour Commissions into line with that of the other Boards on the Island. Under the Act of 1872, His Majesty's Receiver-General is ex officio chairman of the Harbour Board and when the Board is constituted by Act of Tynwald it is contemplated that the chairman of the Board should be appointed by Tynwald. As in the case of the other Boards the office of Receiver-General in the Island of which the functions, property, rights and liabilities may be transferred to the new Harbour Board under the powers conferred by the Bill is one of very ancient date and its holder is appointed by Royal Warrant. It was recognised some years ago that some change might have to be made in the constitution of the Harbour Commissioners and the present Receiver-General accepted office on the understanding that he would retire if and when changes were made. It is accordingly proposed that the present holder should retire when new arrangement comes into force and the office will then become obsolete. This is a very small matter; it will enable the finishing touches to be put to a scheme of constitutional development which is of considerable importance to the Isle of Man, and will enable the islanders and their elected representatives, to take a full share in their own Government.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

May I congratulate the Under-Secretary of State upon the admirable way in which he has read a speech made in another place?

Viscount Hinchingbrooke (Dorset, Southern)

On a point of Order. Is it according to the Rules of this House that speeches made in another place should be quoted exactly here?

Mr. Speaker

I do not know what speeches were quoted. If it were a Ministerial statement, then certainly it would be in Order. But perhaps it was not exactly quoted, as having been made in another place. That is the way we sometimes get out of these things.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.— [Mr. Michael Stewart.]